COLLEGE STATION Being in the armed forces can mean a lot of moving around. It can be especially trying if you have a family to move around, too. After 9-11, a real estate program is helping veterans, and first responders too, afford a home.
"So, this is our wedding day," explains Jaci Christensen, as she points to a picture on the wall. Pictures are everywhere in Jaci's home. She and her husband Jon are settling in as first time homeowners.
"We've had to deal with rental property flooding and having to move immediately. People selling a home and having to move immediately. It was just very unstable and we were tired of feeling unstable," shares Jaci.
Jon, a US Army veteran, met Jaci at a party on the 4th of July five years ago. She knew that he would be going overseas, and despite some hesitation, she pushed through. The two married in 2010.
When Jon returned from overseas, he was working long hours at Fort Hood. Jackie was working hard on finding a house.
"We didn't know what we were looking for," explains Jaci.
"I would browse Craigslist for home for sale, just out of interest and that's how I came across Homes for Heroes," she said. That's how she found Dawn Selix with Freedom Realty of Texas. She's the only agent in Bryan/College Station that's a part of the Homes for Heroes program. It provides rebates and discounts to veterans and others who are looking to buy a home.
"I give 25 percent of my commission every single time to the hero and it goes toward their closing cost," says Selix.
Homes for Heroes has saved veterans and others nearly $4 million. It's those discounts that help veterans get a home.
"That was amazing because we knew what we could afford and we didn't think we could afford this home. They were able to cut corners and make it into our price range instead of making us stretch past our budget," shares Jaci.
"I think about some of our veterans that we've helped through the program and they call us all the time and tell us how thankful they are. they keep us involved in what's going on in their lives," says Selix.
A support system that helps those first time home owners who defended our country.
Outside of being new home owners, Jon and Jaci are expecting their first child. No word yet on if it's a boy or a girl.